Research Papers:

Identification of a novel RNA giant nuclear body in cancer cells

Hong Zhou, Jiawei Zhang, Ying Gu, Xiaoxian Gan, Yichao Gan, Weiwei Zheng, Byung-Wook Kim, Xiaohua Xu, Xiaoya Lu, Qi Dong, Shu Zheng, Wendong Huang and Rongzhen Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:4724-4734. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6619

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Hong Zhou1,2,5,*, Jiawei Zhang2,3,*, Ying Gu1,2,3,*, Xiaoxian Gan3,4, Yichao Gan1,2, Weiwei Zheng1,2, Byung-Wook Kim3, Xiaohua Xu1, Xiaoya Lu1,2, Qi Dong2, Shu Zheng2, Wendong Huang3, Rongzhen Xu1,2

1Department of Hematology, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Intervention, China National Ministry of Education, Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, China

2Cancer Institute of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, China

3Department of Diabetes Complications and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA

4Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou 310012, China

5Hangzhou First People’s Hospital, Hangzhou 310006, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to:

Rongzhen Xu, e-mail: [email protected]

Wendong Huang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: cancer cell, RNA giant nuclear body, nuclear RNA trafficking

Received: August 25, 2015     Accepted: November 25, 2015     Published: December 15, 2015


Constitutive synthesis of oncogenic mRNAs is essential for maintaining the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. However, little is known about how these mRNAs are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Here, we report the identification of a RNA giant nuclear body (RNA-GNB) that is abundant in cancer cells but rare in normal cells. The RNA-GNB contains a RNA core surrounded by a protein shell. We identify 782 proteins from cancer-associated RNA-GNBs, 40% of which are involved in the nuclear mRNA trafficking. RNA-GNB is required for cell proliferation, and its abundance is positively associated with tumor burden and outcome of therapies. Our findings suggest that the RNA-GNB is a novel nuclear RNA trafficking organelle that may contribute to the nuclear mRNA exporting and proliferation of cancer cells.

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